Abstract- The Myth of Immateriality -- Presenting & Preserving New Media

The process-oriented nature of the digital medium -- which is inherently interactive, customizable, variable, and participatory -- poses numerous challenges to the traditional art world, ranging from presentation to collection and preservation. The standards for presenting, collecting and preserving art for the longest time were tailored to objects and few of them are applicable to new media works, which constitute a shift from object to process. The talk will give an overview of the conceptual, philosophical, as well as practical aspects involved in establishing alternative approaches to accomodating new media art within the institution and gallery. In new media art, the traditional roles of curators, artists, and audiences are being redefined and increasingly shift to collaborative models of production and presentation. The public and audience often turns into a participant in the artwork -- a notion that runs counter to our idea of the museum as a shrine for contemplating sacred objects. While digital art is commonly considered as inherently immaterial, consisting of software and systems, the materiality of the hardware supporting it proves to be as challenging as the dematerialized nature of the medium.